Sunday November 03, 2013 | 03:40 PM

Cornerback Aqib Talibapparently still hasn't sufficiently healed from the hip injury he suffered against the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 13. He headed the New England Patriots inactive list for today's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It will be the third consecutive game that Talib misses.

What was even more curious about the inactive list was the inclusion of wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins. He scored the winning touchdown against New Orleans in the final seconds of that miracle comebacker, but has been increasingly phased out of the offense since.

Thompkins had only 13 snaps in last week's win over Miami and has slid to fifth on the Patriots wide receiver depth chart, with veteran Austin Collie moving ahead. Collie was in on 32 snaps against Miami.

Of course, today's opponent, the tough, physical Steelers might play into Thompkins absence. The Patriots have all three tight ends active - Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui and Maine's own Matthew Mulligan, as well as fullback James Develin, an indication they expect this to be a physical game.

Other inactives include running back Leon Washington, linebacker Steve Beauharnais, offensive lineman Chris Barker, wide receiver Josh Boyce and defensive end Jake Bequette.

And in case you missed it, the Patriots placed defensive tackle Tommy Kelly on the Injured Reserve Saturday and signed offensive lineman Josh Kline from the practice squad. Kline is active against the Steelers, making his NFL debut.

Kelly suffered a knee injury against Cincinnati on Oct. 6. He is done for the season.

About this Blog

Mike Lowe has covered the New England Patriots since 1999 for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and has had a nice view of their emergence as one of the NFL’s premier franchises.

He’s been at the paper since 1982 and has covered everything from a Little League World Series to the Summer Olympics. He is married to Tracie and they have three children and two grandchildren.

Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeLowePPH.

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

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